Substantive short articles on Marxian sociology

The Dispossession-Versus-Exploitation Dilemma for Informal Workers

Over the past 40 years, however, a formidable body of literature has challenged the prevailing assumptions about informal workers, asserting that their vulnerability stems not from their lack of integration into the mainstream economy, but rather from their subordinated positions within it.

By |2021-09-15T09:27:07-04:00Sep 15, 2021|

Outcomes of the US “War on Terror”: The Afghanistan-Somalia Comparison

There is some analytical merit in comparing Somalia to Afghanistan, insofar as we are trying to locate the common—often US originated—drivers of instability in these regions. However, let’s not begin (or continue) treating Afghanistan the way we’ve been treating Somalia in terms of US politics and policy. Instead, let’s forge a Left-universalist strategy, based on solidarity, mutual aid, and assistance for all those ravaged by capitalist-empire.

By |2021-09-01T08:54:49-04:00Sep 1, 2021|

Stanley Aronowitz Knew That Freedom Begins Where Work Ends

Stanley Aronowitz died this week at eighty-eight. He hated work, loved life, and brought his overflowing, exuberant approach to social problems to picket lines, classrooms, and vacation. A fighting left needs more people like him.

By |2021-08-18T15:53:39-04:00Aug 18, 2021|

Rethinking the Russian Revolution from Across the Empire

Beyond rediscovering the lost history of the Tsarist empire’s non-Russian Marxists, my study addresses the following puzzle: Why did revolutionary processes and outcomes diverge so dramatically across time (between 1905 and 1917) and space (between the different regions of imperial Russia)?

By |2021-07-14T09:58:28-04:00Jul 14, 2021|

Theorizing “OK Boomer!” Class War or Generation War?

"OK Boomer" emerged as a symptom of late-capitalist postmodernity among a generation who, for structural reasons, may not ever realize the even modestly comfortable lifestyles of many of their (grand)parents. Rather than confront this structural issue, many engage in “fetishistic disavowal.”

By |2021-07-07T11:34:37-04:00Jul 7, 2021|

Informal Employment and the Social Reproduction of Value

Social Reproduction Theory recenters the analysis of capitalism on its reproductive architecture. Here, I further discuss the centrality of social reproduction to value generation and develop a ‘value theory of inclusion’. I identify three concrete mechanisms through which social reproduction contributes to value generation. The first reproductive mechanism is based on (migrant) workers’ living arrangements at their place of work: dormitories or informal housing in slum-like industrial villages. The second channel through which social reproduction is generative of value is through the complex process of rural-urban migration and circulation of labour, which subsidizes capital by socialising reproductive costs. The third channel is the incorporation of homeworkers into global value chains.

By |2021-07-06T08:54:43-04:00Jul 2, 2021|

MSB Podcast Episode 2! Michael Levien & Smriti Upadhyay on Protest and Land Dispossession in India

Most studies of resistance to land dispossession have been case studies of positive instances of resistance, leaving aside instances of negative instances of acquiescence, and not looking comparatively across cases for broader patterns  That’s what makes a recent paper by Michael Levien and Smriti Upadhyay of Johns Hopkins University so exciting. It’s entitled “Toward a Political Sociology of Dispossession: Explaining Opposition to Capital Projects in India,” and it appears in the latest issue of the journal Politics & Society. Using systematic data on more than 23,000 major capital projects across India between 2007 and 2015, Levien and Upadhyay identify key factors that determine whether a project is likely to generate resistance or not. Some of their results may surprise you.

By |2021-06-23T10:04:30-04:00Jun 23, 2021|

The Organic Intellectuals in China

China has grown significantly in terms of economics and influence in international politics, igniting new debates about whether it has become hegemonic in the global economy. A Gramscian approach adds to our knowledge of China’s economic reform, the current socio-political development, and counter-hegemonic resistance.

By |2021-06-09T10:33:17-04:00Jun 9, 2021|
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